2 Jailed Thai Red Shirt Leaders Granted Bail

Posted August 2nd, 2011 at 9:35 am (UTC-5)
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Asian news reports say a criminal court in the Thai capital has granted bail to two jailed former opposition leaders charged with terrorism last year in connection with massive anti-government protests that left at least 90 people dead in Bangkok.

The court ordered the temporary release of Jatuporn Prompan and Nisit Sinthuprai and set bail at just more than $20,000. The defendants, who are awaiting trial on the terrorism charges, were sent back to jail earlier this year after the court ruled they violated terms of an earlier bail by publicly criticizing the revered Thai monarchy. Despite his detention, Jatuporn was reelected to parliament in July and has been cleared by elections officials to take office.

The two were among 17 “Red Shirt” leaders charged last year with inciting violence, threatening government officials and terrorism during 10 weeks of protests that erupted in April 2010 in Bangkok.

The protests targeted the then-ruling Democrat party, which was swept from office last month and replaced by the Red Shirt Pheu Thai party founded by exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Mr. Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is set to be sworn in as prime minister on Friday.

The Bangkok Post, in a report Tuesday, said about 500 Red Shirt supporters greeted Jatuporn and Nisit outside Bangkok's Remand prison after their release. A photograph showed Jatuporn at a microphone thanking his followers and calling for the release of other Red Shirt leaders still in detention.